Endorsing Artist

Dean McNeill

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Dean McNeill

  • University of Saskatchewan

Dean McNeill's Biography

mug-dean-bigDownbeat magazine award winning Canadian trumpet player/composer Dean McNeill is a Full Professor at the University of Saskatchewan where he has taught applied trumpet, trumpet choir, jazz history, jazz ensemble, jazz materials, jazz improvisation, jazz pedagogy, and jazz arranging.

Dean holds music degrees from the University of North Texas (Masters), McGill University (Undergraduate), and Grant MacEwan College (Music Diploma). Dean has recently released two critically acclaimed CDs respectively entitled Prairie Fire: Large Jazz Ensemble Music of Dean McNeill (http://www.cellarlive.com/) and Mélange: New Music For Trumpet and Piano.

A recipient of the U of S Department of Music’s Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award Dean has performed and adjudicated throughout Canada and the United States and has performed both classical and jazz repertoire on CBC Radio. Dean has performed on the Western Canadian Music Awards Classical Showcase concert and he was recently the guest soloist with both the National Youth Band of Canada and the New Edmonton Wind Synfonia.

Dean has composed and/or arranged music for symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, large and small brass ensembles, jazz combo, and large jazz ensemble. Dean’s arrangements of the jazz standard All of You won an award from Downbeat Magazine for University Student Arrangement of the Year.

Prairie Fire CD is a complication of McNeill’s arrangements and original compositions orchestrated for large jazz ensemble, as performed by an outstanding all-Canadian jazz ensemble which includes Hugh Fraser, Campbell Ryga, Mike Rud, Ted Warren, Kelly Jefferson, Mike Heriott, Brian O’Kane, Mike Downes, Greg Gatien, and many others.

Mélange: New Music for Trumpet and Piano CD is a jazz/classical hybrid (i.e. a mixture of western Canadian classical repertoire) as performed by McNeill and acclaimed Canadian pianist Bonnie Nicholson with the jazz repertoire performed by McNeill and two-time Juno award winning Canadian jazz pianist Jon Ballantyne.

In the jazz idiom Dean has performed with the Banff Centre Jazz Orchestra, Vancouver Jazz Orchestra, Birth of the Cool Repertoire Project, Art Blakey Tribute Project, and with the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Pat LaBarbera, Denzal Sinclaire, P.J. Perry, Bobby Caldwell, Carol Welsman, Hugh Fraser, Tommy Banks, Bob Mintzer, Rob McConnell, Brad Turner, Campbell Ryga, Kelly Jefferson, Robert Younge, among others. Dean currently directs the Metro Jazz Ensemble of Saskatoon http://www.deanmcneill.com/music/metrojazz.html and has led many of his own jazz combo-touring projects throughout Western Canada. He has performed as a featured guest artist with the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Washington State Jazz Ensemble 1 (Pullman, Washington), Crane School of Music Jazz Ensemble 1 (Potsdam, New York), Brandon University Jazz Ensemble 1 (Brandon, Manitoba), and the University of Manitoba Jazz Ensemble 1 (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

In the classical idiom Dean has been a member of the Saskatchewan Brass Quintet (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), the Blue Bonnet Brass (Fort Worth, Texas), and the Red Deer (Alberta), Irving (Texas), and Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Symphony Orchestras. He has performed as a soloist in numerous classical recitals (e.g. University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta), Auburn University (Auburn, Alabama), Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, Oklahoma), University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)), and at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan).

Dean’s administrative service includes serving on the board of Jazz Canada (i.e. the Canadian chapter of the International Association of Jazz Education), Canadian Music Centre (i.e. Prairie Region Board), Saskatoon Jazz Society board, and as Head of the Department of Music at the University of Saskatchewan. Dean has been the Musical Director of the Texas Lone Star Film Awards, the Edmonton Jazz Society’s Little Bird Big Band, and the Edmonton Jazz Society’s Jazz Works music workshop.

On multiple occasions Dean been an adjudicator for the Western Canadian Music Awards, Alberta Foundation for the Arts Scholarships, Canadian Juno Awards, and the Saskatoon Community Foundation.

Learn more about Dean McNeill

Dean recently released two CDs as a leader which include:

  • Prairie Fire-Large Jazz Ensemble Music by Dean McNeill. This CD is a complication of McNeill’s arrangements and original compositions orchestrated for large jazz ensemble, as performed by an outstanding all-Canadian jazz ensemble which includes Hugh Fraser, Campbell Ryga, Mike Rud, Ted Warren, Kelly Jefferson, Mike Herriott, Brian O’Kane, Mike Downes, Greg Gatien, and many others. Prairie Fire is available at http://www.cellarlive.com.
  • Mélange: New Music for Trumpet and Piano. This jazz/classical hybrid CD is a mixture of western Canadian classical repertoire, as performed by McNeill and acclaimed Canadian pianist Bonnie Nicholson (e.g. performing Allan Gilliland’s Concerto for Trumpet), and, jazz repertoire, as performed by McNeill and two-time Juno award winning Canadian jazz pianist Jon Ballantyne.

For more information on Dean’s current performance activities and published articles please visit www.deanmcneill.com.